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A Climate for Change

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 15:26

Today, ActionAid Australia released its research report A Climate for Change: Understanding women’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change from ActionAid’s rights-based approach – case studies from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

The report presents the findings from ActionAid’s “A Climate for Change in Women’s Rights Pacific Research Project”, which examined the connection between women, climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity from a rights-based approach.

The project was carried out in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Malaita and Central Provinces of Solomon Islands in 2011. The main aim of the project was to generate a greater level of knowledge on women’s experiences of climate change and their perceptions of vulnerability and capacity for adaptation within the contexts of the study countries. The project was implemented in partnership with the Bismarck Ramu Group and the Solomon Islands Development Trust.

There is no doubt that climate change is a global problem but its impacts are not gender neutral.

Women and girls, who account for 70% of 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty, are disproportionately affected by climate change. In the Melanesian islands of PNG and Solomon Islands, women face significant political, social, economic and cultural inequalities, which make them vulnerable to climate-related hazards, such as droughts, cyclones, landslides, flooding, rainfall and temperature variation, coastal erosion and rising sea levels.

The project found that communities identify women as the most vulnerable group to climate change because they play a central role in food production and marketing. In general, the study found that both men and women had limited awareness of their rights in relation to climate change and were not aware of the policies and services available to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. Governments and donors are yet to integrate gender into their climate change responses, and capacity building of the local civil society sector is required to increase their involvement in adaptation planning and programming.

The research report has been prepared to provide government, donors and civil society organisations with information to inform broader discussions on adaptation financing, policy, programming and research.

The report is available in digital format and can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.